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The Miracle Season (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

The Miracle Season


Starring Helen Hunt, Tiera Skovbye, Erin Moriarty, Danika Yarosh, Jason Gray-Stanford, William Hurt, Burkely Duffield, Rebecca Staab, Nesta Cooper, Bailey Skodje, Natalie Sharp, Ava Grace Cooper, Larissa Albuquerque, Lillian Doucet-Roche, Sean McNamara, Jillian Fargey, Andrea Adams, Eli Gabay, Steve Richmond, Jan Bos and Lee Booker.

Screenplay by David Aaron Cohen and Elissa Matsueda.

Directed by Sean McNamara.

Distributed by LD Entertainment. 99 minutes. Rated PG.

My daughter and I went in blind to this movie. No trailers. No descriptions. I had to look up the title just before writing this to recall its name.

So, our wish is for you to have the same experience. No expectations. No stars to fan over or storylines to pre-search online. Just bring a box of tissues and a friend or loved one. Then come back and read the rest of this review. It will be waiting.

(Makes myself busy while you check out the movie.)

(Still waiting…)

(Goes to get a snack…)

Okay, welcome back. How’s your heart? Breathing a little easier? Recovered yet from the one-two-one-two sucker punches between inspiring, impassioned moments followed by tears for so many different reasons? We kept elbowing each other every time it happened. As it kept happening, I hoped it would be the last time; that the white words would come up and just let me know that everything was going to be okay in the end. Because once you got past the super perky, happy beginning, it’s a roller coaster ride.

All the more so because it is based on a true story. The West High Trojans girls’ volleyball team in Iowa City, Iowa did survive the tragic death of their star player Caroline Found. Despite this terrible blow, they tried to pull themselves together and dedicate their season to the memory of their lost friend.

I was super excited to see William Hurt in this role as Dr. Found. He has always been a favorite of mine – I’ve watched Broadcast News more times than I can count, was chronically obsessed over Until the End of the World and lived for The Big Chill. (I have completely dated myself, haven’t I?)

Helen Hunt in the role of varsity volleyball coach, Kathy Bresnahan, was an interesting choice. Her accent was hard to pinpoint, but in the end, she really captured the awkward, heartfelt role of this grieving woman fighting to keep her team on track.

I don’t know anything about the sport of volleyball beyond the rules that I mindlessly followed in my school days, but overheard by some sporty members of the audience, maybe the characters don’t always “set” properly or stay true to the sport. Having said that, I would have to say to cut them some slack.

When is the last time that we saw an inspirational movie, with a female-based sport, where they unified as a team with little strife? When is the last time that we watched a community band behind a teen and her team with such support and passion? When did we last watch a sports movie about middle America that wasn’t football focused?

This movie really struck a chord in me, something that I never would have expected at the start of the film. Be sure to stay through the end credits to see some really touching photos and videos of the Found family, the West Varsity Volleyball team, Coach Bresnahan, and the community as they rally for the team. The actors did a great job capturing the spirit of their real-life counterparts and their story.

One of the great joys of moviegoing is sometimes you’ll stumble upon an unexpected treasure. For us, the The Miracle Season is one of those little gems.

Bonnie Paul & Leni Paul

Copyright ©2018 All rights reserved. Posted: April 6, 2018.

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